Brendan Rodgers is adamant that Liverpool will put right their poor performance in the 3-1 defeat to Hull City a month ago as the same opponents head to Anfield on New Year’s Day. Liverpool rebounded in fine fashion from that loss, winning four games in a row to move to the top of the Premier League table. However, back-to-back defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea have seen them drop out of the top four and Rodgers is determined to get back to winning ways.
"It's very simple -- we are at home and we expect to win,” he said, according to Liverpool’s official website.
"We were very disappointed in our performance level there [at the KC Stadium]. We were nowhere near the standard we would expect, but you have to give credit to Hull - they exposed that on the day. But we aim to make sure that no matter what squad or team we put out, we don't make the same mistakes again because home games are vitally important for us."
After an absence of more than three weeks, captain Steven Gerrard has resumed full training and is in contention to return to action against Hull. His availability comes at a particularly welcome time with Joe Allen, who has stepped into the side in Gerrard’s absence, set to miss several weeks with an abductor strain. Mamadou Sakho may also miss out with a hamstring strain. They join Daniel Sturridge, Jose Enrique and Jon Flanagan on the sidelines.
Liverpool can expect a tough encounter against a Hull side that recorded an extraordinary 6-0 victory over Fulham -- with all the goals coming in the second half. That win took them into 10th place in the Premier League and, with 23 points secured from the first half of the campaign, Hull have given themselves a good chance of ensuring that their stay in the top division extends beyond a single season.
Yet, midfielder Robert Koren, who scored twice against Fulham on Saturday, urged that there is no room for any complacency.
“We’re halfway through the season now and we’ve got points on the board. It’s been a really good start,” he said, according to Hull City’s official website. But this is the Premier League and we know we have to keep up our concentration in every game because we know that three points are available every time we play.
“From past experience, we know that this is a really tough league. You can go three or four games without getting a result and then there are problems. Hopefully we can keep going as we are with the good performances and getting points for those.”
Where to watch: The Barclays Premier League contest will kick off at 10 a.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by NBC’s Premier League Extra Time, with a live stream available on NBC Sports Live Extra.